Today’s post comes from children’s author and fellow Storm Literary client, Debbie D’Aurelio. Debbie kindly agreed to share her experience creating a book club for boys – a great way to keep them engaged as readers.
Thinking of starting a boys’ book club? Here are ten tips we learned along the way.
1. The group should be kept to about six boys. Anymore than that and the discussion could take too long or get off track (short attention spans). Also, those boys who are uncomfortable speaking in a group may be less likely to join in.
2. A good age is third grade or older. If you have a young group of avid readers you may be able to start earlier, but younger boys will have a wider range of reading skill.
3. Meetings typically take place every four to six weeks depending on the length of the book, holidays, school schedules, etc. The meetings can take place at member houses which seems to create a nice relaxed atmosphere.
4. Each boy should take a turn picking a book. They are encouraged to change genre’s and not choose from the same category every time (e.g. historical fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, biography, mystery and science fiction.
6. Food is another great motivator. Our group usually serves snacks, dessert or even dinner. It’s fun to tie-in the food selection with the book. For example, when the boys read Lincoln’s Last Days the host served fried chicken—President Lincoln’s favorite food.
7. Initially, the host should prepare a few discussion questions to get the ball rolling. As the boys get older, they can prepare their own discussion questions and the parents simply moderate.
8. One idea the boys enjoyed was to read a book that was also a movie and then either go to the theatre or rent the movie to show at home. Some examples are Mazerunner, The Giver, Holes, Harry Potter.
9. Summer is a great time to fit in a couple of extra club meetings. It’s also a time to read the required summer reading so the boys can discuss the story before heading back to school.
10. Of course, always leave time for the boys to just hang-out and have fun.
Big thanks to my friend Debbie for her contribution to the blog today – and for all she does to encourage a love of reading.